Long Beach’s REACH teams consist of a nurse, clinical and outreach workers that work to connect people experiencing homelessness with services and housing. Adding another team could cost about $500,000.
In 2019, a pilot program provided funding to nonprofits and local jurisdictions to offer pet food, crates, toys and veterinary services in homeless shelters. Now pending legislation would make the program permanent, while expanding it across California.
The flexible funding being requested from California lawmakers could be spent to build tiny homes or convert more motels into temporary, non-congregate shelters.
According to the report by the county Department of Public Health, a total of 1,988 homeless deaths were recorded from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, up from 1,271 during the previous 12 months.
The plan would require counties to provide comprehensive treatment for unhoused persons and those suffering from addiction or other mental health issues.
Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a plan on Thursday to force homeless people with severe mental health and addiction disorders into treatment.
The 2022 point-in-time count will give the city’s first snapshot of homelessness in a post-pandemic world.
“There’s so many obstacles that come with being homeless and experiencing trauma at such a young age,” Precious Lamb developmental director Alexandra Gray said.
“Why do particularly ethnic neighborhoods or low-income neighborhoods seem to be less kept up when it’s a city problem?” one resident said.
Long Beach health department officials attribute the rise to the pandemic’s side effects on job security and the ability to house people in congregate settings.